Farmed shrimp is among the fastest-growing food products in the world. Global production, which has more than tripled since 2000, is poised to grow 6% annually. But producers must respond appropriately to the strong market forces that are reshaping the shrimp industry. To better understand how these forces are affecting shrimp producers, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analyzed four major shrimp-producing countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. The analysis identified the current and near-term challenges facing the farmed-shrimp industry and offers recommendations that shrimp producers and traders can follow to succeed financially, boost productivity and efficiency, and become leaders in sustainability.
The report states that the farmed-shrimp market is changing rapidly, and countries that aren’t responding effectively are falling behind. Over the past decade, Thailand and Vietnam, in particular, have lost ground to fast-moving competitors. As production in Thailand and Vietnam has slowed, India and Indonesia have profited significantly and strengthened their positions to become the world’s second- and third-largest shrimp producers, respectively. Still, stricter regulations and environmental risks threaten their strong positions as well.
Some shrimp producers have begun to take action at the local level, improving water systems, experimenting with renewable energy, or using health enhancement feed. These short-term measures represent important steps forward.
To ensure success, the report suggests that shrimp producers must undertake disruptive action. True change can be achieved only when industry players work together on a large scale. What’s needed is an innovative and collaborative approach focused on achieving long-term, inclusive sustainability.
To secure the industry’s future, producers must establish traceability. Traceability offers multiple economic benefits for all players across the value chain: more efficient farms, sustainable production, improved logistics, full market access, brand enhancement, and opportunities for premium pricing. But the shrimp supply chain is highly complex, and a large number of transactions occur through middlemen. As a result, it’s extremely difficult to track shrimp from pond to plate. To provide full product traceability, countries will need to overhaul shrimp production at its very core.
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